Sunday, December 23, 2018

The gift

How much is a fair day's wage? I sometimes watch these shows depicting how life was in the earlier days, when men and women plowed fields, laid up stores from their gardens, and raise livestock to support their families. Some were laborers in the fields, others worked at 'trades' such as carpentry, stone mason, or storekeeper. Yet, one common theme seemed to emerge - the day's wage. It wasn't much, but it usually helped with the bare necessities - such as new shoes when the soles of the present ones had worn thin. The day's wage was well-earned by the sweat of one's brow and heavy lifting of one's back. The worker did a good job and he earned his wages - he deserved his pay. It wasn't a gift to him - it was hard-earned. There is one thing we can never earn - that which is given as a gift. A gift is something given from a heart that knows the specific need and desire of another.

If you’re a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don’t call your wages a gift. But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it’s something only God can do, and you trust him to do it—you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked—well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift. (Romans 4:4-5 MSG)

There are just some jobs too big for me to do anymore. I don't do well with lots of heavy labor any longer - although I sometimes forget this fact! I have found I must hire these tasks out to others - not because I couldn't do them, but because I am not as young or as strong as I used to be! There is one task too big for any of us - that of making our hearts right with God. This is only done via a gift - the gift of the cross. This is the season of gift-giving. Many will take great care to listen to what others share about what they would like, how they have yearned for a particular thing, and then they will ensure that object of one's yearning is wrapped carefully and put under the tree for Christmas morn. One such gift is available - but it doesn't need to be unwrapped one day of the year! It is available to use year round!

We could never find this gift in a store, nor could we fashion it with out own hands. It is impossible for us to make right our own hearts - we do not possess the right stuff to 'put right again' the gap between us and our heavenly Father. There is but one way to be made right - and it is sheer benevolence that makes us right. The benevolence of our heavenly Father makes the gift possible - the obedience and love of his Son 'paid' for the gift. No 'cost' too great where it concerns our hearts! The love of our heavenly Father overrides all human reasoning. His love embraces those who refused to embrace him. His grace-filled love 'paid' the price to purchase for us what we could never earn by even our best of toiling!

We shall celebrate with friends and family all over the world this Christmas season with gifts of all kinds. Let us never forget the gift that need not wait until Christmas morn to fill our hearts and settle our minds. Let us open it up, try it on, and see just how well it 'fits' our soul! The gift we could never earn is a most well-fitting gift indeed! Just sayin!